At a special City Council meeting on March 11, five aldermen continued the discussion of whether and how changes should be made to the City’s street-sweeping schedule. A proposal that appeared to have vexed several aldermen – changing the start time for residential street-sweeping from 9 a.m. to 8 a.m. – was rejected by all the aldermen, but no vote was taken.
Suzette Eggleston, interim director of public works, has proposed several other changes aimed at saving about $26,000 annually by eliminating the use of one street-sweeper. She said the City sweeps the streets not for aesthetic purposes but to keep the sewer openings clear.
Nonetheless, the majority of the aldermens’ concerns seemed to focus on removing garbage and litter from streets and gutters. Some expressed concern about proposed changes in the number of times certain streets would be swept. At present, downtown streets are swept daily between 4 and 7 a.m., and no changes are proposed for that schedule. Most other residential streets are swept between 11 and 17 times per year. At the suggestion of Second Ward Aldermen Lionel Jean-Baptiste, aldermen agreed to provide Ms. Eggleston with locations they would like to have swept regularly – such as areas around parks, schools and business-strips. After speaking with each of the aldermen, she said, she will then revise her proposals and bring the new recommendations to the Administration and Public Works Committee of City Council.
Alderman Ann Rainey said, “I want my garbage picked up, I want my criminals arrested, and I want my streets cleaned.”
Street-sweeping in residential areas typically begins on April 1 and continues through November. Approved changes will be publicized widely, said Third Ward Alderman Melissa Wynne, who served as mayor pro tem for the meeting.